Donald Trump
Donald TrumpReuters

US President Donald Trump has agreed to spread the withdrawal of the military from Syria over a period of about four months, administration officials said on Monday, according to The New York Times.

Trump’s original order gave the military 30 days to pull out of Syria.

The report comes a day after US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) met with Trump and sought to persuade him to reconsider his order for a total US military pullout from Syria and leave some US troops there.

Following the meeting, Graham suggested that Trump now better understands the stakes in Syria and has agreed to reevaluate his plans to immediately withdraw all US troops from the country. He stressed, however, that Trump remains committed to bringing American servicemen and women home, even as he continues to weigh the greater regional dynamics.

Trump’s move has been met with criticism from some Republican lawmakers and was followed by the resignation of Defense Secretary Mattis and of Brett McGurk, Trump’s special envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, according to some reports, was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against ISIS.

Trump on Monday confirmed on Twitter that troops would “slowly” be withdrawn.

“If anybody but Donald Trump did what I did in Syria, which was an ISIS loaded mess when I became President, they would be a national hero,” Trump wrote.

“ISIS is mostly gone, we’re slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting ISIS remnants,” he added.

“I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places. Now when I start getting out the Fake News Media, or some failed Generals who were unable to do the job before I arrived, like to complain about me & my tactics, which are working. Just doing what I said I was going to do!” the President continued.

According to The New York Times report, during his surprise trip to Iraq last week, Trump privately told the commander of American forces in Iraq and Syria, Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, that the military could have several months to complete a safe and orderly withdrawal, according to two United States officials.

A Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Sean Robertson, said on Monday, “I’ll let the president’s words speak for themselves.”